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Reminder that I didn't get into a phd program because I'm extra smart - it's because I came to university with some money. That means I don't have to work in summer vacations, so I can hang around the university doing internships and projects even though I didn't win funding. That means next summer I'm more likely to get a paid research internship. And two summer research projects on my CV "shows enthusiasm", commitment, and experience and is probably the deciding factor in getting in.

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